Monday, November 5, 2012

First Semester @ AAU

The first semester at AAU for photography majors in the MFA program has a common set of courses to be completed. Almost all the new students go through the same three courses.

PH   603 - The Language of Photography
PH   612 - The Nature of Photography
GLA 625 - The History of Photography

You have pretty much no choice is taking other photography courses in this semester, unless you have a special case for it, and it is approved by the program director. In case you are a student from a non english speaking county and have poor proficiency in the language you will be assigned an ESL(English as a secondary Language) course instead of the liberal arts one.

These courses do a decent job of introducing the students to everything photography at AAU. Lets see what the course descriptions have to say for them selves from the Academy's sources.

PH 603 - The Nature of Photography - "In this course, students will engage in an in-depth study of the fundamental language of photography comprised of the aesthetical, technical, and practical aspects of the medium. Artistic interpretation and technique will be examined through study of image capture, processing, and printing relevant to fine art, commercial, and documentary applications."

PH 612 - This course is dedicated to the investigation and understanding of photography as a visual language. The elemental relationship of form and narrative is explored as a means for individual artistic expression. Emphasis is placed on application of these principles through practical assignments and verbal discussion.

GLA 625 - The History of Photography - "This course explores the history of photography and the impact of photography on the visual arts. The major photographic movements and genres throughout the history of photography will be defined and studied in theoretical and applied terms."

Every course has a 3hr class once a week. The mode of delivery of PH 603 and 612 is somewhat similar, in that, they have assignments each week and a midterm and a final. These assignments involve submission of photographic prints for critical evaluation, by not only just the instructor but by the entier class too. About half the time in class is spent on a lecture from the instructor and the other half is spent of critiquing photographs. The liberal arts class on the other hand is different for obvious reasons, it has a lof of reading, research, take home quiz's and presentations that need to be done apart from your mid-term and finals.

All of the classes for the first semester will be held at 625 Sutter, the Photography department building. It is likely to remain the case in the future too. If you are planning to live somewhere in San Francisco, then it might as well be somewhere close to 625 Sutter. The pace of most of the courses in the first semester will appear slow and unchallenging for the first few weeks, but fret not it will start pushing you around by the time you get to mid-terms.

If you have any questions, post them below in the comments section and i'll try and answer them as best as I can.

Related posts
PH   603 - The Language of Photography
PH   612 - The Nature of Photography
GLA 625 - The History of Photography

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